20 Sep 2008

United States have early advantage in Ryder Cup

8:11 am on 20 September 2008

The United States won the opening Ryder Cup session for the first time in 17 years to lead holders Europe by three points to one after the foursome matches in Kentucky.

The U.S. has not won an opening session since the 1991 matches at Kiawah Island.

Justin Leonard and Hunter Mahan drew first blood with a 3&2 victory over Britain's Paul Casey and Swede Henrik Stenson in the second match out.

Stewart Cink and Chad Campbell came from one down after 12 holes to edge British pairing Ian Poulter and rookie Justin Rose one up after their opponents three-putted 18.

In the top match, Phil Mickelson and rookie Anthony Kim recovered from three down with six holes remaining to finish all square with Irishman Padraig Harrington and Swede Robert Karlsson.

Local favourite Kenny Perry and Jim Furyk came from one down to lead Spaniard Sergio Garcia and Britain's Lee Westwood by two with two to play before having to settle for a half.

Europe are bidding for an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory while the United States are seeking their first triumph since their come-from-behind success at Brookline in 1999.